The Murray House - 344 North Oak Avenue
Backstory and Context
This two-story residential structure was constructed in 1917. It is a contributing structure to the Orange City National Register Historic District. It represents a primarily Mediterranean Revival architectural style, which began late in the nineteenth century peaking in the 1920s and 1930s. The characteristics of Mediterranean Revival architecture is similar to Spanish Revival architecture with low pitched roofs with broad over hanging eaves. The roof originally boasted characteristic red clay barrel tile, but is now clad with modern shingles. The walls of the structure maintains the original stucco finish. This style is based on palaces and seaside villas which were built in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and became popular in California and Florida.
The land where this home stands today was once owned by Richard and Julia Tucker. Their large, ornate dwelling was reduced to ashes by Orange City's most devastating fire in 1908. The Tuckers moved to a new home across Oak Avenue and sold the burnt land. The land laid fallow for nine years before a new home would be constructed in its place.
Records show Hugh C. and Jane P. Murray, from Willimantic Connecticut, purchased Lots 1, 2, & 3 of Block 14 from A. Boyd Smith and Lois Robinson Smith in January 1917. By March 28, a newspaper announced the Murray's new home would be built by J.H. Bates and Sons, a DeLand architect and builder. Bates and Sons were also busy constructing the new Melissa Dickinson Memorial Library during the same time.
The Murray's were prominent members of the community. After her husband's death, Jane became a winter resident of Orange City. She was known for her generous donations to the First Congregational Church of Orange City, which included an extension of the church sanctuary to house a donated organ and also a gift to build the parish house.
United States Department of the Interior National Park Service (2004). National Register of Historic Places Continuation Sheet Orange City Historic District Orange City, Volusia County, Florida
LaFleur, J.(Ed.). (2000). Our Story of Orange City, Florida. Florida: Village Improvement Association, Inc.
Orange City (2018).Tour of Historic Homes and Buildings Saturday, December 8, 2012 [Brochure]. Orange City,FL
"Orange City.." The Tampa Times (Tampa) March 28th 1917. , 3-3.
Photo by Ted Marsolek
postcard collection of City of Orange City
Postcard collection of Kimberly Reading